Flawed Logic

RICHARD K. TAYLOR'S critique of a left-wing perspective makes a few valid points, but his logic seems to be flawed in some respects.

Are all "leftists" necessarily supporters of state socialism as he would imply? Where does that leave the social democrats of Europe and the Democratic Socialists of America or the cooperatives of Central America and elsewhere?

There is a flaw in equating Marcos and Pinochet on the one hand with Honecker and Ceausescu on the other and saying that we should have worked as hard for the downfall of the latter as we did for the former. Marcos and Pinochet were created (put in power) by our government and therefore we had a special responsibility for undoing that mistake.

The same holds true of his argument equating "the oppressed" in El Salvador and South Africa with those in Cuba, China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Tibet. Our government has been an active participant in allying itself with the oppressors in El Salvador and South Africa and therefore we citizens have that same special responsibility for changing that policy. This does not imply support for Honecker, Ceausescu, China, North Korea, etc., but it is a matter of responsibility and priority.

A more basic criticism of Taylor's piece is the absence of any mention of God's option for the poor as the central issue for Christians as it comes in conflict with the materialism and rampant greed of our market economy. This is where Christian Socialists have a unique testimony.

Barry Freeman

Hillsborough, North Carolina

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